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The Last Innocents : The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers
by Michael Leahy


Overview -

From an award-winning journalist comes the riveting odyssey of seven Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s a chronicle of a team, a game, and a nation in transition during one of the most exciting and unsettled decades in history.

Legendary Dodgers Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Dick Tracewski, Lou Johnson and Tommy Davis encapsulated 1960s America: white and black, Jewish and Christian, wealthy and working class, pro-Vietnam and anti-war, golden boy and seasoned veteran.  Read more...


 
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More About The Last Innocents by Michael Leahy
 
 
 
Overview

From an award-winning journalist comes the riveting odyssey of seven Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s a chronicle of a team, a game, and a nation in transition during one of the most exciting and unsettled decades in history.

Legendary Dodgers Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Dick Tracewski, Lou Johnson and Tommy Davis encapsulated 1960s America: white and black, Jewish and Christian, wealthy and working class, pro-Vietnam and anti-war, golden boy and seasoned veteran. The Last Innocents is a thoughtful, technicolor portrait of these seven players friends, mentors, confidants, rivals, and allies and their storied team that offers an intriguing look at a sport and a nation in transition. Bringing into focus the high drama of their World Series appearances from 1962 to 1972 and their pivotal games, Michael Leahy explores these men s interpersonal relationships and illuminates the triumphs, agonies, and challenges each faced individually.

Leahy places these men s lives within the political and social maelstrom that was the era when the conformity of the 1950s gave way to demands for equality and rights. Increasingly frustrated over a lack of real bargaining power and an iron-fisted management who occasionally meddled in their personal affairs, many players shared an uneasy relationship with the team s front office. This contention mirrored the discord and uncertainty generated by myriad changes rocking the nation: the civil rights movement, political assassinations, and growing hostility to the escalation of the Vietnam War. While the nation around them changed, these players each experienced a personal and professional metamorphosis that would alter public perceptions and their own.

Comprehensive and artfully crafted, The Last Innocents is an evocative and riveting portrait of a pivotal era in baseball and modern America."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062360564
  • ISBN-10: 0062360566
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Publish Date: May 2016
  • Page Count: 496


Related Categories

Books > Sports & Recreation > Baseball - History

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-03-28
  • Reviewer: Staff

Leahy, a writer for the Washington Post and the Washington Post Magazine, exhaustively profiles seven Dodgers (both black and white) to frame his gripping narrative of America’s growing pains and its favorite pastime. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ sun-kissed rise as a baseball power in the 1960s—the team won the World Series in 1963 and 1965—coincided with a swirl of social issues. Racism was virulent, in spite of the burgeoning civil rights movement. Meanwhile, Dodgers management was stingy with its non-unionized roster. Maury Wills had to beg for a raise, even though his prowess at stealing bases—a pursuit that left him a permanent welt—revolutionized the sport. Other players examined by Leahy include talented first baseman Wes Parker, who remained emotionally scarred from a terrible childhood; the unforgettable and unflappable pitcher Sandy Koufax, who eventually suffered from an arthritic left elbow; and journeyman outfielder Lou Johnson, a black man who refused to play the role that white America demanded. By using their personal experiences to tell the story of an oft-recounted era of American history, Leahy’s book packs an unanticipated jolt of humanness. (May)

 
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